The Online Beacon

The Student News Site of Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts

The Student News Site of Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts

The Online Beacon

The Online Beacon

The Online Beacon

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Sports Preview: Softball Team Prepares for Spring Season

Photo+sourced+from+MCLA+Athletics.
Photo sourced from MCLA Athletics.

Spring may mean buzzing bees and flowers for many, but for MCLA’s softball team it’s just another reminder of their upcoming 38-game season. With the Trailblazer’s first match quickly approaching, the team is firing on all cylinders to prepare. The season ended with a less than satisfactory record last year (8-26), fueling changes both on and off the field. Along with these changes, the team adjusts to a new coaching system, excites for an upcoming Florida trip, and reflects on the preparation that has went into the season so far.

“Preparation has been going well, thankfully I’m not doing this on my own. Coach Beckwith and I are co-head coaches for Softball this year. Having her been with the school so long and knowing a lot of the players…it’s really been fun to come together as a group and see the excitement the players have for a new season,” commented Co-Head Coach Heath Isaacson on getting ready for the season, and the new coaching dynamic of the team. Coach Amanda Beckwith is the MCLA Women’s Volleyball Head Coach during the Fall season. During the winter season, Coach Heath Isaacson is the Women’s Ice Hockey Head Coach.

The pair are merging all of their focus and ability together with the goal of propelling the MCLA Softball team to a satisfactory Spring season. The latter spoke upon the coaching system, stating that, “this opportunity came about to share the responsibilities of coaching softball, and I think with both of our personalities and the way we go about coaching, we are going to work together really well.”

With the coaching situation working efficiently, it was time to begin working towards the season. Coach Isaacson touched upon what goes into getting ready for the season, “We had time in the fall to work with them. Also, we’ve been practicing since getting back in January. The biggest thing is culture…they’re in the gym working hard, having fun, really excited to get back outside and getting the season going.”

Justina Pardi, a senior first-baseman who has been with MCLA Softball for four years, says about team culture, “We had a lot of fall practices and a lot of team hangouts outside of Softball, which have helped us get a better sense of who our new girls are and who we are as a team, and what our culture is.”

Beyond the season preparation, the team is also training for their Spring break trip to Florida. “It’s definitely taken a turn for the best this year. We’ve had a lot more intense practices, and getting ready for Florida has been going great. We’re really excited to get on the field,” said Pardi.  This year the team will play ten games in eight days. Coach Isaacson commented briefly on the trip:

The team has been through some things the past couple of years, including some not-so-successful seasons, so just changing the mentality; getting the girls to find their passion for the sport again…We have a fun trip coming up this Spring break. It’ll be a huge come-together for all of us as a group. We have players still playing Basketball, and some that are playing Hockey, so they’re not practicing right now. The trip will be a really good experience for us to come together and get ready for the season.

With the introduction of the new coaching system, some of the more experienced players will be big parts of leading the team. Justina Pardi is no exception, and will be a huge part of the team this year. Coach Isaacson goes in depth about her role along with the other older player’s roles in the team, stating that:

We’re both coming into this (Coach Isaacson & Coach Beckwith), leaning on those seniors a little bit just because they’ve been here before. They know what the processes are, and Justina having been here four years, is going to be one of those people. We’re a pretty young team, so we’re definitely going to be leaning on the players that have been around for some time, because they’re the ones that have seen the changes, and they’re the ones who are encouraged by what we’ve been doing in the Fall and Spring as coaches.

Pardi understands what her role is, remarking on what she does as a leader for the team, “When we are on the field, I definitely am a calm presence. When we’re hitting or in the dugout, I like to keep everyone hyped. I see myself as a natural leader for the team, so I take on a lot of responsibilities.”

With all the logistics of the beginning of the season covered, the team seems to be very excited to finally get back outside on the Softball field and play. “I’m excited for Florida, getting in the warm weather, and playing again… I think both my personal and team goal is to make playoffs,” said Pardi, on what she is most looking forward to this season. Coach Isaacson is also looking forward to getting back outside, and for the team’s first game against the Western Connecticut Wolves, on March 9th.  Catch the Trailblazers in action at their first home game of the season against the Bay Path University Wildcats on March 27th, at 2:00pm.

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Traizen Griffith, Staff Writer

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